We’ve been saying that it’s “The Year of the Customer” for years now.
Now we get to see how well we’ve really done to make this rally cry a reality.
We’re fighting customer churn and working to protect revenue in a way that many of us have never had to do before. Nice-to-have technology has been cut in order to protect costs as we work to make it through this economic downturn.
While in many ways this is a waiting game, we don’t actually have the luxury of sitting around and waiting to see how things will play out. More than ever, this is a time for teams to hunker down and focus on the strategies that will have the greatest impact.
The strategies that will have the greatest impact for our businesses will be those that deliver the greatest impact for our customers. If the actions you’re taking now are not bringing value to those you serve, it’s time to throw them out — they expired March 2020.
Now is the time to focus on what works and deliver products and resources that help customers achieve success through this time.
To facilitate cross-functional participation during this time, organizations will need to:
This may mean that roles and responsibilities are redefined. This kind of change is expected in order to pivot strategies and survive uncertain times.
There’s a common problem across many SaaS companies. In an effort to define roles and responsibilities across teams and departments, we’ve inadvertently created a culture of siloes — what is mine is not yours, specifically when it comes to sharing data. Whether because of painful RACI exercises or internal politics, we’ve created a culture that encourages protection rather than collaboration.
This means that even if individuals or departments have the best of intentions to prioritize Voice of Customer programs, those chosen to lead the effort are fighting uphill battles to get access to the data and information they need to create a holistic picture of customer feedback. We may “know” that there are issues with customer satisfaction at specific touchpoints with our organization, but we lack the holistic data needed to prove our case.
When the responsibility of the customer experience relies solely on specific departments, it relieves all other teams of any measurable obligation. Unless all teams are held responsible and accountable, we’re limiting the scope of impact that other teams and individuals can contribute.
If individuals and teams don’t feel that they can have a meaningful impact on something — or if they have no real goals that encourage contribution — how can we expect to create a culture that fosters collaboration and innovation around the customer experience. It’s difficult to be customer-centric if we’re not empowering all team members to participate and measuring success.
Customer retention falls on everyone. While some teams play more frontline roles in managing the day to day customer relationships and securing commitment for renewal, the entire organization must feel that they have a stake in preventing customer churn.
Helping customers find value in their partnership with your company touches every team, not just Success. This means that every individual must fully understand why and how their role impacts customer satisfaction and retention.
Every team across the organization must understand how they contribute to retention and revenue. The only way to be all hands on deck is to give everyone clear responsibility. This isn’t about one-off initiatives, it’s about establishing a culture of shared goals and responsibility and knowing that everyone plays a critical role.
The truth is that our lanes will be blurred and our scope of responsibility widened. These are difficult times but they are also a time for our people and our teams to deliver value and results in a new way — for our culture to truly shift.
To ensure that there is constant alignment, teams should be meeting daily or weekly to discuss progress, learnings, and go-forward actions. Bring together stakeholders from every department, give every member a role, and never leave a meeting without assigned actions.
Saving customers, protecting revenue, and offering value to customers through this time is company-wide, so every department needs a seat at the table in these meetings.
With tools like Loop, teams can easily integrate feedback channels and survey responses to see common feedback trends in real-time. Quickly understand and align on the risks and opportunities related to retention and revenue, and create the action plans to address.
We know this time is not easy. We’re in the trenches, making difficult decisions, and trying to do what is best for our company and our customers. Be nimble, move fast, stay aligned, and keep your customers front and center.
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